E-commerce is the new shopping destination. The consumer-spending on the online portals are expected to double by 2016.
No wonder, considering the convenience offered by these few ‘clicks’ that brings a product home. People, who were once reluctant to adapt this way of shopping is now lured by the offers and convenience of these sites. These sites are indeed a blessing, until you are compromising your details unknowingly to someone, who is relentlessly waiting for his prey. The recent Data Breach Investigations Report estimated 174 million compromised records, a whooping 170 million more than the last year. For millions, who stroll through these online shopping centers, here are the ten golden rules for a safe internet shopping
- Enabling personal firewall is the first thing to be done when you set out to shop. It adds a layer of protection to your PC by stopping unknown connections to the PC.
- Every online shopping site wants you to register as a customer, before buying products from them. When registering online, a simple notification for remembering password will appear, which on enabling will store the passwords in PC, often in plain text. According to BCS, these are the first thing a fraudster will target. Some malware is designed to go and search your PC for these passwords. Moreover, if your laptop is lost or stolen, the passwords go with it.
- Before shopping with your credit card, ensure that it is registered with the card provider's online security services such as Verified by Visa and MasterCard SecureCode.
- This clears a misconception every online shopper has. The bank provides you security guarantees with a credit card that are not given with a debit card. So it is better not to take your new platinum card on an online shopping spree.
- It is always better to use only one card for online shopping and maintaining the limit on the card as low as possible. Always remember, losing one is better than losing many.
- The online shoppers usually do not check the site's privacy policies until they met with some problem. But the policies should be monitored to know how your personal information will be used and to make sure only provide the minimum of personal information, especially in online forms.
- Checking monthly statements is a good way to monitor your activities. If there is any sign of irregular activity, report it straight away.
- Spam emails existed from the very beginning of internet marketing. But people still fall to this easy trap, which displays customer testimonials for fake authenticity.
- You could be doing everything right. But, the vendor can go wrong sometimes. And when a hacker steals the consumer’s information from a company’s database, the ultimate price is paid by the consumer.
- Most of the malware exploits are known problems with software and operating systems. The easy targets for a hacker are usually people who do not keep the systems up to date with proper anti-virus products and operating system updates. Updates will always reduce the likelihood of malicious code or key-logging software running on your PC without your knowledge, transmitting your details to fraudsters across the internet.